Cameroon’s Energy Outlook 2020 – 2030

Cameroon is well positioned to benefit from the global boom in renewable energies.

It is strategically located. Cameroon can benefit from renewable energies and act as an energy hub linking West Africa with Central Africa.

1. Power generation from Cameroon’s hydroelectric plants can serve as a strategic link between Nigeria and Cameroon.

Cameroon may become the link between West and Central African countries, as it may be able to export electricity to Nigeria, which is not able to meet its own hydropower needs. The Nigerian economy has grown considerably in recent years. Nigeria would certainly be able to generate enough electricity from its oil reserves. But in Nigeria there is often a lack of well-developed infrastructure even in southern Nigeria. A transnational power grid that includes Nigeria and Cameroon could benefit all nations connected to it.

The river Sanaga offers ideal conditions for a dam to generate electricity from hydropower. It should be noted that the electricity networks in Cameroon are not as developed as in the case of Nigeria. The export of electricity from Cameroon depends on the construction of an integrated power grid to West Africa. The Cameroonian domestic electricity market shows a high demand. The electricity could not yet be delivered to the customer, even if the transmission of electricity took place in the west and south of the country. However, this could well change in the medium term.

2. Photovoltaic systems can be useful for remote areas in northern Cameroon.

Solar power generation would also be an option to generate more electricity. This would also be a viable option for supplying electricity to urban areas in northern Cameroon. In the north, it is particularly difficult to supply the population with energy. A decentralized power grid would considerably alleviate the energy shortage, which is why kerosene lamps are still used for lighting in many areas. A nationwide power grid would certainly be a solution. It will nevertheless be difficult to connect these areas to a national grid. One of the main reasons is the difficulty in financing such megaprojects. Above all, the energy industry is known for its project risks, which are often considerable.

3. Energy policy requires international coordination between West and Central African states in order to increase electricity exports.

Connection to a supraregional power grid will probably take place at the same time as the construction of a national power grid. This is also due to the geographical distances within Cameroon and the fact that Nigeria is nearby. Like Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo wants to become an electricity exporter. This is due, among other things, to the large rapids and rivers that make large-scale hydropower plants possible. The electricity would be transmitted via Cameroon. This would require an expansion of the power grids. On the other hand, this would only bring added value if the Democratic Republic of Congo contributes to the costs of building a supraregional power grid.

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